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Highway 198 along Fresno and Monterey Counties reopens after rock slides forced closure

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Crews worked for 18 hours Monday, trying to clear the road and make it safe again for cars to drive on and said it would reopen by 6 p.m. (KFSN)

A portion of Highway 198 was shut down after mud and rockslides shut it down between Fresno and Monterey Counties Sunday evening.

Crews worked for 18 hours Monday, trying to clear the road and make it safe again for cars to drive on and said it would reopen by 6 p.m. Special equipment was brought in to get the road back open after mud and rock slides, caused by days of heavy rain, forced officials to shut it down overnight.

"This happens to be a corridor that has a significant amount of materials that will come off the hillsides and end up on our road decks," Todd Barosso with Caltrans said.

The road closure meant some students had to miss school in nearby Coalinga.

"We had about six or eight kids who weren't able to be transported to school today because of the closure of 198," Coalinga-Huron School District Jim Allen explained.

Officials deemed the highway safe again Monday afternoon and had it back open in time for the evening commute. But with the possibility of more rain in the forecast, crew members know it's only a matter of time before they'll be back and doing more of the dirty work to keep this road safe

"We know when you have steep canyons with this type of geology a lot of rain will bring a lot of materials down," Barosso said. "We try to anticipate the weather and the patterns and what equipment we need to have and that usually dictates how fast we can get the roads open."

Because of all the rocks and boulders along this windy road officials will continue to monitor the portion of Highway 198 during the rainy season.

Related Topics:
traffictrafficroad closurefresno countyCoalinga
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